CCW Visiting Research Fellowship Programme 

We normally have between six and ten VRFs each term. In general they are either senior academics taking a Sabbatical from their own institution, or practitioners, including senior members of the armed forces, international organisations and NGOs, journalists, civil servants, and diplomatic staff. During their time in Oxford, most of our Visiting Research Fellows have an association with Pembroke College. Here they have the opportunity to mix with the Fellows of the College in the Senior Common Room -the beautiful fifteenth-century Broadgates Hall. Founded in 1624, Pembroke counts Samuel Johnson, Sir William Blackstone, and James Smithson among its alumni. More recent distinguished members include Michael Heseltine, former Deputy Prime Minister, and in the USA, Senators Fulbright and Lugar, to name but a few.

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Dr Johnson, members of CCW, and University of Oxford colleagues mentor professional Visiting Research Fellows of the CCW Centre. The Visiting Research Fellows to CCW are drawn from across the academic and professional worlds, with senior officers of the United States, European and United Kingdom armed forces especially strongly represented. 

Our VRFs often join CCW prior to taking up a major new appointment, using their time with us to develop their thinking, broadening their understanding and engaging with some of the most respected academic specialists. In other cases, senior visitors have had the opportunity, through CCW, to articulate and test their ideas, and obtain rigorous feedback. 

“After a life largely outside academic circles, I needed considerable guidance and this was readily and generously given by my supervisor at Oxford University, Sir Hew Strachan… I worked at Oxford within the Changing Character of Warfare Programme…and I am grateful for the considerable help given by the Directors, Dr Rob Johnson and Dr Jan Lemnitzer, and the programme coordinator Ruth Murray as I unravelled what the University had to offer.”
— Major-General (rtd) Christopher Elliott, in the Prologue to High Command (Hurst, 2015)


CCW welcomes applications from outstanding individuals for its long-running and successful Visiting Fellowship Programme. Visiting Research Fellows (VRFs) are members of the CCW Programme for one academic year or less. While not enrolled on a formal degree course, and as such do not gain any recognised qualification from the university, they engage with one or more of the Programme’s research themes and receive individual support to do so. The subject of their research is submitted as a proposal to the Academic Board. The VRF then works on this specific project during their time in Oxford, and is able to meet with academics working in related fields and to attend CCW events. They also have the opportunity to have a paper reviewed by other members of the Programme. 

Fees for Academic Year 2018-19 are £1100 (academic rate) or £3400 (practitioner rate) per term. Please note that there are 3 terms per year.

Visiting Fellows are entitled to a named supervisor and 3 one to one tutorials per term if paying the practitioner rate. The capacity of the Centre to provide this support will be taken into consideration in making an offer.

Visiting Fellows are required to submit a 1000-word report at the end of the fellowship period along with a copy of their research paper.


All Visiting Fellowships must be approved by the Academic Board, who meet once a term. Each application will be considered on its own academic merit and the capacity of the Centre to offer appropriate supervision and support.

Please submit an application form including a research proposal (1000 words) together with your CV and two letters of reference to the Centre Administrator (see below). The research proposal should specify the expected output of the research (for example, a journal article) as well as how the project relates to the Programme’s current research priorities. Please ensure that the outcome is achievable in the length of time available for the fellowship.

Visiting Fellowships are for a duration of at least one term and at most three terms in the first instance. Candidates requesting an extension to their Visiting Fellowship must submit a new application to the Board.


You are welcome to apply early for a deferred arrival.

If you miss a deadline, please get in contact as we may have capacity for an additional board meeting to review applications.



  • Applications must be approved by the Academic Board.

  • Offers are made based on A CV and a written proposal of 1000 words for a viable project with a specific output. No interview is required.

  • The proposal must relate to current research themes of the Programme.

  • Candidates should have a doctorate or 5 years equivalent professional experience.

  • Two reference letters should be provided at time of application.

  • Full-time students at other institutions will not be considered.

  • Candidates must show ability to pay the relevant fees: fees for Academic Year 2018-19 are £1100 (academic rate) or £3400 (practitioner rate) per term. Please note that there are 3 terms per year.

Please email your application form, CV and references to: